mastering the master ensuite

HI! It’s been a while!

I have no satisfactory excuse for my absence—no life-threatening illness or wild traveling adventure to speak of. Let’s just say a new day job + secret project deadlines + winter blues =


That’s me. A wilted flower. So yeah, life got busy.

But I’m back now! Bonjour!


Anyhow. I couldn’t be happier to announce that we’ve moved forward on the master ensuite. Yes, oh yes, that beige-carpeted, brown vinyl eyesore is one step closer to getting yanked out of the seventies.

Ladies and germs, I present to you our new vanities! (We got two of ‘em.)


They’re from the Home Depot. The countertop is a faux marble that really looks like the real deal. And all three drawers open, with U-shaped cabinetry to fit around the plumbing. They were on sale for $349 each, and since we’d been looking for a while with little success, and both loved this one, we jumped on it.

I’m SO excited about this purchase because it’s the first concrete step we’ve taken toward this much-long-for renovation. We’ve been scrimping and saving forever. For the vanities, we used gift cards we got for Christmas and our birthdays. We’re so lucky to have generous family and friends helping us renovate this house! We heart you. XOXOX

So how will we transform the ensuite, you ask?

ensuite before - vanity 1

Yep. We’ve got our work cut out for us.

I’ve lined up a few inspiration shots so you can see what I have in mind. I’m loving the look of wood with marble.


And I especially love it with a bit of a rustic feel.


I’ve also been crushing hard on subway tiles for years. I love their classic and utilitarian feel. So those will (hopefully) make a cameo appearance.


One small detail I neglected to mention is that I already have the tub…


Oh, my friends. This tub has been in my basement for years. I bought it when I first moved into this house, anticipating that I would eventually renovate the bathroom. I could scarcely believe my eyes when I found it on clearance at Costco for $199. These freestanding tubs are usually upwards of a thousand dollars!

I bought it on the spot. My friend helped me bring it home in her pick-up truck and we hauled it in, huffing and puffing like two old ladies. The thing is HUGE, like a boat in the basement. It’s been sitting there unused for years, waiting for its moment to shine. Every once in a while, I go downstairs to gaze at it, dreaming of bubble baths, candles and a glass of wine.


So for the time being, the vanities are hanging out in the basement with the tub, waiting for the big day.


Meanwhile, there’s much more to do. We have to find our tile and fixtures, source glass for the shower, get heated floors. And the list goes on.

We don’t want to start any demo until all our ducks are in a row. Once the shower stall is gone (and no longer sitting in the middle of the second floor—YAY!), there’s no turning back. And since I have no desire to shower in the basement or at the gym for a month, we need to make sure we’re 100% ready before the crowbar and hammer come out.

So that means I have to be patient. Not my strong suit. If you’re looking for me, I’ll be sitting in the tub in the basement dreaming of our new bathroom.

Oh wait, don’t go yet—I forgot to tell you something!

I was delighted to find annie hearts nominated, among many truly awesome bloggers, for the Homies Awards (in the Home Projects and DIY category) at

If you’re enjoying this blog, I would be so grateful if you would show your love by voting for annie hearts. You just need to sign up, they’ll send you a confirmation email, and then you check off anniehearts (it’s uh…ahem…waaay down the list). And don’t worry—ApartmentTherapy won’t send you spam or anything, so you’re safe.

You can vote here.

Voting ends early Saturday morning, Feb. 22nd at 5 a.m. Thanks for your support—it means more than you know!

hearts, annie xo

thrifty thursday: the art of innocence

Sometimes I leave the thrift store with a score that makes me so happy, I practically want to skip all the way to my car.

I was instantly smitten when I saw this beauty.


It’s called “Innocence” and I love the 70s vibe of it—the muted earth tones, the hippy-dippy-trippy meadow and the girl nestled in flowers, dreaming. It takes me back to lazy afternoons as a child spent watching the clouds roll by and feeling free.


The canvas is quite large—36 x 36—and was made in Canada by a company based in Chicago.


Artist? Unknown! There’s no signature on the canvas or the back of it. Obviously, it was mass-produced at the time. Still, you can’t beat $20 for a large and lovely piece of art that makes me feel so youthful and free. If only I could bottle that feeling!


When something speaks to me like that, when I feel like it’s a whisper coming from deep inside me, I can’t pass it by.

I can just picture her in the all-white office that will be mine again soon, gently reminding me to stop being an adult for a moment, to take a breath and dream.

Do you have anything that brings back happy childhood memories whenever you look at it?

hearts, annie xo



thrifty thursday: the dining chairs get a new outfit

Like Angelina Jolie, they’ve cleaned up and changed their racy ways. No more biker-chic black vinyl gallivanting suggestively around town looking for trouble. They’ve found a home and now they’re much more demure. Downright ladylike, actually.

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In case you missed last week’s post, this is what they used to look like.


I plan to sand the wood down so it’s pale like my thrifted desk. But since I don’t want to cover the inside of the house in dust, and it’s too damn cold to do it outside, it will have to wait till the weather gets warmer.

I found the fabric at Value Village, of course. It was already lined, having been used as a curtain, which made it nice and strong for the job at hand.

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The first thing I did was fix some wood joinery that was coming apart. I used a hammer, with my Ikea catalogue for padding, so the wood wouldn’t get dented when I smacked it. I would have added a dab of wood glue, but I didn’t have any. No matter. It’s holding up okay so far.

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Three screws were holding the vinyl seat onto the chair, so I removed the seat. The staples on the seat cover came off with a two-step process where I used a flathead screwdriver and then some plyers.

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When I took the vinyl off the seat, the cushion was spotless, looking practically brand new. I just knew there was a lady behind that dirty black vinyl badassedness!


I used the vinyl seat cover as my guide to cut my new fabric.


Once the fabric was cut, I stapled my little heart out.


I was careful to not staple over the screw holes that hold the seat to the chair. Important!


And I kept going all the way around till the job was done. It’s not perfection, but we have a covered seat!


And new dining chairs!



We needed extra seating around the table and these totally fit the bill. (The other two chairs are in the basement, at the ready for when we have guests.)

The seat is the perfect size to snug right up against the base of the marble table.


They’re so comfortable, with great lumbar support on those two supports going up the middle. And I just love the sexy curve on the back.


*wolf whistle!*

They play well with the other dining chairs, which is lovely.


But I do have plans for the brown vinyl chairs too. And no, I’m not telling you what those are yet. You’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m looking forward to sanding the scuffs and the dark stain off the chairs, so that pale wood underneath can shine through. It will go with our new floors…ONE DAY! One day we’ll have beautiful new floors!


Oh dining chairs. You are so lovely – that bone structure! those curves! – and even in cheap vinyl, you looked chic. And look at you now! I knew I was right to put my money on you.

hearts, annie xo

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